Calyptomena hosii (Sharpe, 1892)
by Ms. Noor Faradiana Binti Md Fauzi & Mr. Mohammad Shahfiz Azman
© Noor Faradiana Binti Md Fauzi

Calyptomena hosii, commonly called Hose's Broadbill, is a bird classified under Family Calyptomenidae. It is an endemic species in Borneo. The distribution of this species is restricted to the hill and submontane mixed dipterocarp forests. The bird has been recorded living at elevations between 600 and 1,220 m above the sea (Lim et al., 2020; BirdLife International, 2022).

Hose's Broadbill is easily distinguished by its azure-blue belly and a row of black spots on its wings (Lim et al., 2020). Otherwise, it resembles Green Broadbill and Whitehead's Broadbill. These three broadbills are from the same genus and share similar characteristics, i.e., having a small and robust body (15 to 21 cm long), mostly striking neon-green plumage and a short, broad bill (Myers, 2016; Robson, 2014; Lim et al., 2020).

Hose's Broadbill is sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females differ in appearance. Sexually, the male owns vibrant green plumage whereas that of the female typically appears dull. The male also has rich covers of tuft feathers on the forehead that obscure the bill meanwhile the female has smaller forehead tuft. The female also possesses black spots on its head and fewer blue-covered underparts (only from belly centre to undertail-coverts), compared to the male which has blue underparts covered from its chest to undertail-coverts (Myers, 2016; Lim et al., 2020).

This passerine bird feeds mainly on fruits. It uses its wide gape and short bill to eat relatively soft fruits such as figs, and supplements its diet with insects (Myers, 2016). It usually forages quietly for fruits in pairs (Bruce, 2020).

This bird also builds an interestingly purse-shaped, hanging nest decorated with dead leaves, and the nest is suspended from the tip of low branches of understorey trees (Bruce, 2020). As the nest appears to be a clutter of random debris caught in the tree, it may provide excellent protection for eggs and young chicks from reptilian and mammalian predators. The suspension, however, makes it vulnerable to strong wind.

According to the IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species, Hose's Broadbill is a Near-Threatened species. It is sensitive to habitat loss, and habitat deterioration caused by illegal logging and land conversion is one of the threats to the population of this bird (BirdLife International, 2017; BirdLife International, 2022).


  1. BirdLife International. (2017). Calyptomena hosii (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22698754A110727244. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from
  2. BirdLife International. (2022). Species factsheet: Calyptomena hosii. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from
  3. Bruce, M.D. (2020). Hose's Broadbill (Calyptomena hosii), version 1.0. In del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (Eds.). Birds of the World Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. Retrieved November 01, 2022, from
  4. Lim, K.S., Yong, D.L. & Lim, K.C. (2020). A Field Guide to the Birds of Malaysia & Singapore. John Beaufoy Publishing. pp. 400.
  5. Myers, S. (2016). Birds of Borneo. London: Christoper Helm.
  6. Robson, C. (2014). A field guide to the birds of South-East Asia. London: Bloomsbury Natural History. pp. 303.
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